photography by Mike Foster
It doesn’t have to start with your attitude at all. In fact, your body can trick your mind into giving you the natural self-assurance you need, no matter how insecure you are about your personality and your body. No affirmations needed. Here are some simple and odd ways your body can forge confidence.
Take Up More Space
Uncross your legs. Unfold your arms. The less limbs you have touching your body, the better. There is a plethora of psychology behind this logic, but basically your subconscious method of defense, self-comfort, and expulsion of nervous energy is to close yourself off and caress yourself in various ways. The scientific solution is to take up more space because it subliminally exerts dominance, i.e. hands on your hips, standing tall, shoulders back, and all the stereotypical Marvel character poses. Just a couple minutes of this will actually change your feelings of uncertainty to those of clarity and purpose. Do you sleep curled up? Well this is a good place to start if you are not feeling ballsy enough in public. Lay on your back with your arms folded behind your head and your legs apart. You’ll start stressing less and less about your day, and drift to sleep on a more positive note.
I don’t necessarily mean don’t be a push over, although you will feel less meek as a side-effect of this tip: use your full voice. I live in California, where a lot of us speak as if we are fighting back our voices with each word. Think Kim Kardashian. It’s like we are trying as hard to keep to ourselves with our voice as we are with our bodies. We are like to make statements sound like questions, like we don’t want to intellectually intrude upon others by stating facts so we leave them sounding open ended. If you are guilty of this or restrain your voice in any unnatural way then I am talking to you. First of all, stop being stingy with the air. It’s an infinite resource; you can be as greedy as you want. If indulge in deep breaths, your voice will be reset to it’s native element when you talk. After you inhale, you should allow yourself to fully exhale while you are speaking, because stifling the air is what stifles your voice. Your full voice sounds more self-assured, even if you don’t feel it. But you may find that it consequently feels awkward to talk about things with an indecisive tone. You will feel like what you say is your final, and you’ll want to stop doubting yourself.
Mirror Body Language
One psychological theory behind this, as explained by the Psychologia article “Mirroring in Body Language” is to “bond and build understanding”, making you more attracted to and trusting of whoever you are with. Yawning and smiling are easy things to copy because they are contagious, but I believe you can also take on someone’s vibe to become more comfortable with yourself, even if you are not trying to get them to trust you or like you, yet. This will work with people seems to produce calming vibes. Have you ever been in an unfamiliar social situation and started talking with someone who seemed to be extremely easy-going and grounded? If it caused you to instantly let your guard down and start treating them like a long-time friend the way were treating you, it’s not necessarily because you want to become long-time friends. I think you simply decided to be comfortable in your own skin because they were comfortable in theirs.
There are so many more ideas I have that come from a mental aspect, but they will require more time and effort to implement. This is why I enjoy the writing from the physical perspective so much. The body is an extension of our mind, feelings, and spirit, and it clearly and constantly manifests our thoughts, attitudes, and lifestyle. It is fascinating how our bodies are so big, strong, and resilient yet easily manipulated. And while I believe that our minds control our bodies, I am also a firm believer that our bodies can control our minds for the benefit our well being. Comment below what you agree and disagree with, and bless my blog with your own ideas!
Mirroring Body Language